Taking pictures of the bride as she gets ready for the wedding ceremony on her special day is a time-honored tradition in wedding photography, but it can require a different set of skills from the traditional photos of the ceremony. I personally love the close, intimate setting and the candid shots that can be captured during bridal prep. Of course, it does take a little planning, a good deal of forethought, and the right mindset to bring out the best in the bride, the bridesmaids, and the hair and makeup artists. Here are three keys to photographing bridal preps that I've found to be extremely helpful:
As wedding photographers, it’s important for us to step away from capturing only that which we think will impress our peers. We need to talk to our clients about why wedding photography is important to them. We must go beyond great shots of the couple, and truly tell the whole story of their wedding day. We need to artfully capture their details. We need to attentively capture fleeting moments. And we should offer suggestions on how to create moments that may not happen on their own. If we do this, we become better as photographers, we enjoy better album and portrait sales, and we earn the referrals of our clients and our vendors.
If you want clients of all shapes and sizes to feel confident working with you, they need to first see that you have an active interest in welcoming them into your studio. It is very intimidating for a plus-size client to reach out to a photographer, no matter how beautiful their work is, if the photographer’s entire portfolio consists of only one body type again and again. What’s more, working with models will help you to become more adept at working with larger bodies before offering your skills to paying clients. When a photographer isn’t comfortable working with people of size, believe me, it really shows, and the results can range from awkward to devastating.
When it comes to crafting killer quality of light, it’s all about modifiers. These light-shaping tools come in a variety of shapes, sizes and interior finishes. When attached to the front of strobes, modifiers help control the quality, shape, direction, spread, and amount of contrast, as well as how quickly the light falls off. While some have more versatility than others, there is no one-size-fits-all modifier. Each has its own unique characteristics, and each produces a different set of results.
I’m not going to give you 10 poses to memorize, or give you different posing ideas for different body types. While these kinds of tips are certainly helpful in expanding your posing repertoire, they don’t help you understand how to flatter the female body. Instead, I’m going to give you my favorite posing tweaks to help you learn to think critically about ways to make any body look longer, curvier, and more feminine.
Shooting beauty photography shouldn't be inherently tricky. Still, every day, I see photographers struggle to nail what I would consider a traditional beauty image—something worthy of a beauty campaign that you'd see in stores like Sephora or Mac. Whether you're a photographer interested in beauty and fashion photography or just want to learn new creative skills to take your portraiture from boring to “wow,” below, you'll find five secrets to help you create picture-perfect beauty images.
Over the years that I've spent in the wedding photography business, I've found that one of the biggest obstacles we photographers come up against is time—or rather, the lack of it. Sometimes it's hard to get the bride, groom, and wedding party on the same page in the little amount of time we have for each specific stage of the shoot. One thing really helps me to work around this issue: I make use of a workflow that allows me to quickly position the bride and groom in various poses and get the shots I need in just a few minutes. I can get a ton of great pictures, and at the same time catch up if I'm running behind for any reason, or if I just have a really tight time frame to work with.
I love my strip boxes. My go-to's are the Profoto D2 line and the Profoto 1x6 RFI strip boxes with grids. I use these light modifiers for my maternity, fitness and boudoir clients, because of the control and impact they have when shaping light. You can use them to create gorgeous directional light that focuses on drama. And who doesn't enjoy an excellent dramatic photograph?
One of the most crucial aspects of a wedding photoshoot is depicting the bridesmaids in the best possible light. There are a number of techniques that you can employ to make sure that your photos of the bridesmaids turn out the way you (and, more importantly, the bride and groom) want them.
I’ve probably spent just as much time in front of the camera as I have behind it. I started taking self-portraits when I first picked up a camera. It became the best way for me to learn the technical side of photography. It also let me be an artist and experiment with wardrobe, posing and lighting.